Dexter sat on a sticky seat on a bus, counting the milliseconds until the bus stopped at Townsville. He wanted off this filthy, public bus and into a tackle hug, courtesy of his sisters. They would tell him all about their Christmas, and ask about his. He would tell them that Deedee had gotten him a new piano piece for Christmas, something by Evanescence, insisting that he learn to play something modern. What he wouldn't tell them was he had a feeling Buttercup had something to do with that nudge, with the liking she had taken to that band. He hated the lyrics, but the notes themselves weren't so bad. He had to admit it sounded nice, a graceful start, crescendos in the right places, and fade off ending. He was still trying to figure out who Amy Lee was though. He thought he might ask Buttercup, but quickly foresaw the consequences. The main one was her teasing him, and he could nearly hear her now…
Wait, that was actually Buttercup, telling him 'to get his butt off this stupid bus!' Coming from anyone else, he would have stayed put, but this was Buttercup, his sister… and she could take the bus apart.
He grabbed his bag; barely missed getting smashed in the swiftly closing doors, and was tackled into three pairs of arms, all while the professor watched. He knew his children were always happy to see each other, even if his son acted as if he didn't want to be hugged.
As soon as the trio of girls had made sure their brother was okay, Buttercup demanded a performance of 'her song' as she called it. Dexter was smart enough to know not to argue with her and agreed to perform it the second they got home. This seemed to placate the dark haired sister, and the other two seemed eager to hear him play.
His three daughters provoked their father to reach the house in record time. With a speedy hello to Mr. Green, (who was dropping off more Christmas cookies,) they sped across the street to Mrs. Martin's house. They opened the door to hear Carol of the Bells being hesitantly played. Mrs. Martin greeted them with a plate of cookies, followed by a small child, and a quick explanation. "My grand children are here today, that's my oldest on the piano, can you four wait just a minute?" the children nodded silently and followed their ears.
A collage age girl sat of the piano, eyes shut tightly as if she was focusing only on the keys and the tune. She slipped up a few times and both she and Dexter cringed. She ended by holding the last chord and slowly stood up. "Matt? Where's my cane?" She called, a bit of annoyance crept into the last words, and she sighed. The small child from earlier came running with a white pole in hand. "Ashley, you left it in the living room." He told her, handing her the cane with practiced ease. Dexter gasped to himself as it finally dawned, this Ashley, she was blind. He hurriedly whispered his conclusion to his sisters, and Bubbles looked at the girl with pity.
The girl in question looked up at them, hearing their whispered conversation. "Please, don't whisper, I can still hear you. Who ever wanted to play can now." She found her way to the sofa and plopped down. "Do you mind if I listen?" Dexter nearly shook his head before realizing that she wouldn't see it. "No, I don't mind at all." The blind girl's eyebrows rose at hearing his voice. "Are you Russian? Or Slavic?" "Actually, I'm American." "Seriously?" The boy genius looked at her incredulously. "Why would I lie about my origin?" "You've got a point, I'm sorry."
Dexter was silent as he sat down, and Blossom pushed the seat up for him. He removed his gloves and proceeded to play a more complicated version of what they all had just heard. Five jaws hit the floor as he too held down the last chord. "Dude, are you by any chance Beethoven? Mozart? Who are you? I played without music, and I didn't hear you put any up, how did you do that?" Dexter slid off the bench, walked over to her, and took her hand. "Dexter McPhearson, boy genius."
"That explains so much. Well, Dexter, you play very well, how old are you?" "Thirteen." He answered curtly. She understood his curtness as a sign not to ask any more questions about him. "Is that what you came to play? Or are you going to grace us with another performance?" Ashley asked, a sly grin creeping over her face. "I'd be honored." He replied using the same confident tone.
He played Buttercup's song, and finished to pleasant clapping. "You are a piano master indeed. You three are lucky to have him as your brother." "Yes, yes we are. " Blossom replied. "The professor might start to wonder what's taking us so long, we best get going." Ashley stood up made her way over to them, and it perturbed slightly the children how she never looked at them. "Say hello to your father for me, will you? And don't forget the cookies." Matt came out as if on cue holding a small wrapped plate, which he handed to Bubbles, and she nodded politely. "Happy holidays." She told them, and then she and her brother walked from the room. The children silently walked across the street to their home, their minds each on a different thought train. They handed the plate wordlessly to their father. For some odd reason, their meeting with a blind girl had unsettled them somehow.
Bubbles was the first to ask, "Professor?" She looked at him with those wide naive eyes, and everyone else knew that she had a question to ask, just as she had after the incident with Mr. Green and HIM. "Mrs. Martin's granddaughter, Ashley, she's blind. And she still plays the piano, and told us to tell you hi. How does she play and how do you know her?" "She used to come visit her grandmother several years ago, before you three came into the picture. And Bubbles, you don't have to be able to see to play an instrument, as long as you can hear, then you can play. Does that answer all your questions?" The blonde nodded, and they settled into a nice late Christmas dinner.